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CAMD Associate Professor Kristian Kloeckl, Program Head for the Experience Design graduate offerings, was the keynote speaker at this year’s recent Ananda x Seedstars: Urban Living event in Bangkok, which sparked discussions around how to use urban technologies and city data to improve quality of life for all citizens. The summit was organized by Seedstars, a Switzerland based organization that supports technology startups in emerging markets – and it attracted designers, urban planners, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and other industry experts from Thailand and around the world.

Professor Kloeckl’s keynote address, entitled “Design for the Hybrid City: Inter/face, Inter/act, Improv/act,” explored the relationship between the rapidly evolving technological connections and the environments we live in. He highlighted the potential of augmented, digital-physical infrastructure and explored its place in cities of the future and the present, underscoring the critical message that speaking to and understanding the needs, “on-the-ground” practices, and desires of citizens is a crucial first step in the successful creation of technology innovation in cities.

Drawing from example, Kloeckl’s talk presented work that is successfully and creatively leveraging technology mediated interactions in the context of today’s hybrid cities, pointing out opportunities, challenges and limitations when developing urban applications based on networked digital technologies and their resulting data.

Among other projects, Kloeckl highlighted initiatives such as the Pavement to Parks program in San Francisco, which focuses on taking parking spaces along the sides of busy thoroughfares inside the city and transforming them into small “parklets,” – stimulating, vibrant community spaces. He also discussed programs such as dock-less bike sharing systems, which decentralize bike-sharing services in urban areas, making bicycles as a mobility choice more accessible and useful on an ad-hoc basis. Initiatives at the local scale like these can do a lot to improve quality of life for residents of surrounding neighborhoods, even as cities continue to grow.

CAMD is proud to have had a faculty member represented at this constructive and important event. To learn more about Ananda x Seedstars: Urban Living, visit their site.